Costa Book Awards winner shares writing tips and tricks with Harold Hill pupils

Award-winning children's author Frances Hardinge with Broadford Primary School pupils.

Award-winning children's author Frances Hardinge with Broadford Primary School pupils. - Credit: Malcolm Drakes/Broadford Primary School

An award-winning children’s author paid a visit to a school to regale young bookworms with tales of her gripping thrillers and sign copies of her books.

Children's book award winner Frances Hardinge pictured at the 2016 Costa Book Awards at Quaglino's,

Children's book award winner Frances Hardinge pictured at the 2016 Costa Book Awards at Quaglino's, London. Photo: Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment/PA Images - Credit: Empics Entertainment

Teachers and pupils at Broadford Primary School, Faringdon Avenue, Harold Hill were delighted to welcome Frances Hardinge, author of 2015’s Costa Book Awards winner.

The novelist won the coffee company’s Children’s Book Award category and the overall Book of the Year with fantasy novel The Lie Tree.

Year 6 pupil, Melisa Krasniqi said: “I have really enjoyed her stories.

“To have the chance to meet her in person, hear her read some extracts from the book and get some top writing tips was amazing.”


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Frances delivered an assembly to Year 5 and 6 pupils, and shared with the children her journey to become an author.

She said: “I had set up a childhood detective agency. We would try to solve crimes using talcum powder and sellotape to detect finger prints.

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“We didn’t catch many criminals but we did make plenty of mess.”

The youngsters, eager for knowledge, fired questions at the writer, enquiring how she generated ideas.

Frances said: “For each of my stories I have to complete a vast amount of research.

“Some of this is not exciting, finding out about costumes, key dates and place names.

“However some research is very exciting. For my story Gullstruck Island I got to climb down into real volcanoes and investigate underground caves so that my descriptions were accurate.”

Headteacher, Malcolm Drakes said: “Pupils then went onto to have a writers workshop with Frances, where she gave them some top tips on how to write a great horror suspense story.

“It was a great day to celebrate high quality stories and meet a wonderful award winning author.”

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